Today the church remembers Vida Dutton Scudder, Educator and Witness for Peace, 1954.Born in India, the daughter of Congregationalist missionaries, Vida Dutton Scudder moved back to America to the family home when her father died overseas. There in Massachusetts she was confirmed as an Episcopalian in the 1870s by Phillips Brooks (see January 23). She studied at Smith College and then was matriculated at Oxford University, one of the first American women admitted to the graduate program there. From 1887 she taught literature at Wellesley College. Her scholarship won her much recognition. She was the first woman published in the Anglican Theological Review. Scudder received honorary doctorates from both Smith College and Nashotah House, the Episcopal seminary in Wisconsin. Scudder became active in matters of justice, and with others she founded the Episcopal Church Socialist League. Though she originally supported the first world war, she quickly moved to a pacificist position and spoke out against the war. Believing that greed and wealth were inimical to the Christian life, she summed up her views, "It is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed." Embolden us, O Lord, to proclaim your true joy and to reject the false hope of trusting in our wealth. Amen.
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Most gracious God, you sent your beloved Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Raise up in your Church witnesses who, after the example of your servant Vida Dutton Scudder, stand firm in proclaiming the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.